The title of the Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et Misera” refers to two words used by St Augustine “in recounting the story of Jesus’ meeting with the woman taken in adultery”. Very often women who meet Jesus are not accepted in the society because of their life. They are judged, discriminated, isolated and condemned.
Jesus instead does not condemn the persons, he shows God’s mercy. “God is merciful (cf. Ex 34:6); his mercy lasts for ever (cf. Ps 136). From generation to generation, it embraces all those who trust in him and it changes them, by bestowing a share in his very life. What great joy welled up in the heart of these two women: the adulteress and the sinner! Forgiveness made them feel free at last and happy as never before. Their tears of shame and pain turned into the smile of a person who knows that he or she is loved. Mercy gives rise to joy, because our hearts are opened to the hope of a new life. The joy of forgiveness is inexpressible, yet it radiates all around us whenever we experience forgiveness. Its source is in the love with which God comes to meet us, breaking through walls of selfishness that surround us, in order to make us in turn instruments of mercy.” (MM 2-3)
“The experience of mercy brings joy.”
Joy, this is what Jesus gives to the woman, and he wants everybody to experience his joy to fullness.
“In a culture often dominated by technology, sadness and loneliness appear to be on the rise, not least among young people. The future seems prey to an uncertainty that does not make for stability. This often gives rise to depression, sadness and boredom, which can gradually lead to despair. We need witnesses to hope and true joy if we are to dispel the illusions that promise quick and easy happiness through artificial paradises. The profound sense of emptiness felt by so many people can be overcome by the hope we bear in our hearts and by the joy that it gives. We need to acknowledge the joy that rises up in a heart touched by mercy.”
As WUCWO women we are called to bring hope and show our joy, the joy of the Gospel, as we are aware of God’s mercy in our life and we know the joy of forgiveness. For this reason we need to share such joy with everybody in our daily apostolic commitment and never get tired of carrying on this task.
“May we never allow this joy to be robbed from us by our troubles and concerns. May it remain rooted in our hearts and enable us to approach with serenity the events of our daily lives.”
This time of Lent may enhance us to continue our path of conversion.
Evangelii Gaudium 1-10
Misericordia et Misera 2-4
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
According to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,
So that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgement.
Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing heart.